• Rainey comes out on top at the NI Schools Business Challenge 2022

Rainey comes out on top at the NI Schools Business Challenge 2022

11 February 2022

Pictured at Riddel Hall are the winners from Rainey Endowed School; Lewis Boyle, Sara Henderson, Mary Payne and Shay Shiels with Professor Ciaran Connolly of Queen’s Management School (left), Nigel Harra, Senior Partner at BDO NI (middle) and Billy Moore, Group Finance Director at Henderson Group (right).


Pupils from Rainey Endowed School overcame tough competition from 15 other schools from across Northern Ireland to win the 2022 NI Schools Business Challenge. The coveted schools award took place in association with Henderson Group, BDO Northern Ireland and Queen’s Management School. Further supported by CCEA, the competition displayed the young talent of our future business leaders.  

The NI Business Challenge supports CCEA’s A level Business Studies qualification, facilitating the development of pupils’ business skills and knowledge with a competitive edge.

This year’s event took place at Queen’s Management School, Riddel Hall with the winning team from Rainey Endowed School being represented by Sara Henderson, Lewis Boyle, Shay Shiels and Mary Payne.

Nigel Harra, Senior Partner at BDO Northern Ireland said,

“Our local business community has a significant impact on our local economy, through jobs, investment and innovation and it is vital that we continue to grow this offering and attract our young talent towards business leadership.

“The calibre of this year’s competition was exceptional, and I hope many of the students that took part today see their futures in business. This challenge not only provides a real-life project with the obstacles and constraints that come alongside it, but it allows honest expert feedback on all areas of their submission. This will allow them to continue to develop their business acumen beyond their A-level exams”.

Billy Moore, Group Finance Director at Henderson Group added;

“After meeting the students taking part in the challenge, I can confidently say Northern Ireland’s business future is in very good hands. These young minds are confident in their values and critical in their thinking, showing leadership skills in abundance.

Congratulations to Rainey, they are very deserving of their win and I know they will go far within our business community here in the future.”

Pupils from Rainey Endowed School developed and presented a business strategy to their peers and a judging panel made up of senior business experts from BDO NI, Henderson Group, CCEA and Queens.

Professor Ciaran Connolly, Queen’s Management School added,

“It was fantastic to have A-level pupils back in Queen's Management School again. The quality of the presentations was extremely high and a testament to the talent and commitment of each of the teams, especially in these difficult and disruptive times. I would like to thank the teachers for encouraging their pupils to participate and supporting this event.”

A key element of the NI Business Challenge is that it supports CCEA’s A level Business Studies, and Education Manager at CCEA, Jill Armer added,

“This is a fantastic day out for A level business students with the opportunity to compete with and against their peers and showcase their business knowledge in a boardroom scenario.  It’s also a great way to find out more about potential courses at Queens and meet with professionals from the world of business.”

Alongside bragging rights, the winners received VIP tickets for a Belfast Giants game, £500 for their school and a bespoke trophy.